Monday, January 16, 2017

Spotlight On...Liarra Michelle

Name: Liarra Michelle

Hometown: Denver, Colorado

Select Credits: The Public Theatre's Twelfth Night. Also, Captive Audience, The Signal Season of Dummy Hoy, Smoke on the Mountain, and Inherit the Wind. She is an active member of New York Deaf Theatre and The Shelter NYC.

Why theater?: That's not an easy question to answer. Theatre, for me, is basically like water. I could technically live without it, but the quality of life would be greatly diminished. As an actor, there is something beautiful in taking the words someone has written, creating a character and - alongside the director and creative team - finding the best way to present the story intended. We get to take the audience on a journey, away from whatever good or bad they have in their real life and escape to experience another world. The audience is as much a part of theatre as what is going on stage. It's magical to feel both their presence and their connection.

Who do you play in Consider the Lilies?:  My character is Angela, who is also David's girlfriend.

Tell us about Consider the Lilies: For me, this play is about identity. How do we define ourselves and how much do we allow other people or situations to affect those definitions.

What is it like being a part of Consider the Lilies?: It has been a wonderful journey! I already knew a few people involved, so I looked forward to working with them, and it is always exciting to have the opportunity to work with new artists! Also, I have admired Austin's work for some time, and it is wonderful to watch him and to act with him. My scenes consist of myself with one other actor, and both of them (Austin and Josh) are talented, kind and generous partners. Everyone--actors, creative team and stage management--has been very kind and open and it's been a lovely experience of making art with them.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I love new work, interesting relationships, theatre which challenges a perception or "truth", and anything that seems challenging for me as an actor. While that might seem to cover every play in existence, trust doesn't. :) What inspires me? Truth. I know that's vague, but truth in art is invaluable and magical. When someone writes truthful words that draw me into a story, move me, and make me want to be a part of that art, it is exciting and beautiful. The same goes for other actors. When I see someone give an honest and raw performance, it takes my breath away.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: Too many! I'm really drawn to intelligent and well-spoken characters. It's exciting to see more and more playwrights include these (intelligent female characters) in their stories!

What’s your favorite show tune?:  It depends on my mood at the time.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Are people actually able to answer this? My goodness...there are so many! Zachary Levy, Cynthia Erivo, Kelly McAndrew, Laura Benanti, Audra McDonald...I'd love to be directed by Joe Mantello...and I haven't even started in the Off- and Off-Off-Broadway circles... I really could just go on forever.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself, and what would it be called?: Anne Hathaway in "Who Needs Sleep When You Have Coffee?"

If you could go back in time and see any play or musical you missed, what would it be?:  Most recently, I missed both Fun Home and Gin Game, which is a shame, and I would love to have seen anything with Julie Andrews in it.

What show have you recommended to your friends?:  Something Rotten! before it closes. It's well done and a really fun musical!

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?:  Not sure if this counts, but I love Sci-Fi.

What’s up next?: Nothing I can announce at the moment, but you'll be seeing me around. :)